SUNBIZ

7s bid good for the economy

 If Fiji wins the bid to host the HSBC World Sevens Series then the country is going to  benefit big time in terms of improved infrastructure and economically as well.
24 Mar 2018 11:00
7s bid good for the economy
From left: Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) Commercial management manager Brian Thorburn, Prime Minister and FRU president Voreqe Bainimarama and FRU bid team executive Greg Peters during the FRU Awards Night at the Sheraton Fiji Resort on Denarau on March 16, 2018. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

 If Fiji wins the bid to host the HSBC World Sevens Series then the country is going to  benefit big time in terms of improved infrastructure and economically as well.

During the Fiji Rugby Awards Night at Sheraton Fiji Resort on Denarau, on Friday, March 16, the Fiji Rugby Union commercial management manager Brian Thorburn, FRU Bid team consultant Greg Peters and FRU chief executive John O’Connor outlined the work that needs to be and how it will benefit the country economically.   

 

Major Facelift

Prince Charles Park in Nadi will undergo a major facelift in terms of renovation works in order to meet the World Rugby’s HSBC World Series venue requirements.

Thorburn said they had been looking for alternative venues to host the World Sevens Series tournament.

He said they found Prince Charles Park to be the most suitable venue for the tournament given its accessibility to hotels on Port Denarau.

The hotels in Port Denarau are just five kilometres and seven minutes’ drive from Prince Charles Park.

“We received the tendered documents from World Rugby and was quite prescriptive of what needs to be delivered for a tournament of this caliber,” he said during the Fiji Rugby Awards Night at Sheraton Fiji Resort on Denarau.

At first the ANZ Stadium in Suva was the ideal choice, but according to Thorburn, “looking further with our analysis, we needed to provide 420 hotel rooms that are 280 for the men and 140 for the women.”

“So we came to a conclusion that Suva just did not have the hotel capacity to cope with the demands of the athletes let alone the visitors.”

Thorburn said they looked and worked on how they could be going about ways in finding a venue that accommodated these demands.

“We looked at all the venues that currently have 7s contracts. I think nine of them are established stadiums and great facilities ticking the boxes required for hosting a tournament like this.”

He said the one tournament they looked closely at was the one at Dubai.

 

Dubai example

Dubai’s The Sevens Stadium has a permanent seating capacity of 4000 and during tournaments it could host up to 50,000 spectators due to the construction of temporary infrastructure.

“So we went over to have a look at that and said look if they can do it why can’t we?”

He said their bid also mentioned of their intention of building temporary infrastructure in order to accommodate the required number of spectators of 20,000 to 30,000 sitting capacity at Prince Charles Park.

 

Proper drainage

“We have works to do in terms of lifting the level of the field.”

Thorburn said they would be bringing in equipment from overseas and they would also be working on the lightings.

“We need to bring the lightings to a level of 1500 lights, we are confident it ticks all the boxes of World Rugby.”

Lifting the level of the field, he says, is vital because Prince Charles Park is 500millimeters below the drainage line.

Thorburn said they would be lifting the venue in order to ensure sufficient and efficient drainage.  To make the field superb and of top quality, to what the teams need and deserve, these are works that needed to be done;

He pointed out that the existing grandstand will be demolished.

“And we would be making a road base in order to support the mountable structures. Medical, warm-up, change rooms, sighting commissioners facilities will also be constructed within the vicinity of Prince Charles Park.

“There is a whole range of facilities that we need to provide make it measure up. We have plans to build corporate suites on the Southern Eastern side with temporary grandstands around them with a capacity of 20,000.”

 

Technical aspects

The high profile event will be broadcasted to 150 countries all around the world with more than 80 million viewers.

Bid team consultant Peters said hosting a tournament of this capacity required a lot of technical ground work.

“They are going to need 12,000 meals in a week, 15,000 litres of water, and 7 tons of ice, so it gives you an idea of the scale of an event that we are looking at,” Peters said.

He said security and medical services would have to be up right up to par in terms of its’ delivery.

“We are confident because in terms of security we do not have any major threats, the only biggest security challenge in Fiji is to ensure that the enthusiasm of the people at this event is harnessed and controlled.”

Peters said this made it safer for the players and fans alike.

 

Player’s welfare

“That is the number one thing on the World

 

Rugby checklist and we believe that our bid will deliver an unparalleled player experience than from anything they have ever seen in the circuit before.”

Peters said players would not only be treated with good food and training facilities but also to a good experience in the hotels they would be staying in.

“Prince Charles Park is 5km with 7minutes away, while training fields are just only 15 minutes away, there is not an event on the circuit that can promise that and we can deliver it.”

 

 Fiji’s 7s Legacy

FRU chief executive officer John O’Connor said hosting the tournament allowed locals in watching their heroes’ right here at home.

“I think one of the legacies that we can build upon if we host is, if we go to any 7s tournament in the world, there are always Fijians there,” O’Connor said.

He said most definitely, if Fiji was given the green light, then most definitely, Fijians in Australia and New Zealand would be planning their way home to be part of the tournament.

“Likewise they will also be able to visit their families whilst being here.”

He said hosting the tournament would not only be beneficial for the rugby crazy fans in the country. It will also have a positive impact in Fiji’s tourism and economic sector.

 

Rugby checklist and we believe that our bid will deliver an unparalleled player experience than from anything they have ever seen in the circuit before.”

Peters said players would not only be treated with good food and training facilities but also to a good experience in the hotels they would be staying in.

“Prince Charles Park is 5km with 7minutes away, while training fields are just only 15 minutes away, there is not an event on the circuit that can promise that and we can deliver it.”

 

Feedback:  peni.komaisavai@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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